Red Sox

Drellich: Why Price's seventh start can be a turning point

Drellich: Why Price's seventh start can be a turning point

BOSTON — The power in David Price’s arm is hard to understand. Intuitively, it shouldn’t be there. He’s throwing harder now than last year, after a spring injury that sent him to renowned surgeons who told him he didn't need surgery.

But there he is, reaching 97 mph, seven starts into the season. That was a very important marker for him a year ago — seven starts. Maybe it will be that way again. 

That’s the working logic for the designated hitter, isn’t it? Last year’s pattern is the groundwork for optimism when it comes to Hanley Ramirez.

Maybe Ramirez’s second-half outburst saw its starting point Thursday.

The home run he hit in a 6-3 win over the Twins was crushed to center field. It was anything but a cheapie, and something that felt like a statement. It’s hard to believe he could will himself to hit a home run because he’s received so much attention in the last couple days — that he went deep as a response — but the timing can’t be ignored either.

For Price, who went seven innings and threw 112 pitches on Friday, his seventh start a year ago was arguably the lowest point in his Red Sox career. It had to be in terms of where it left his statistics.

Price was in New York on May 7, 2016. He let up six runs to the Yankees in 4 2/3 innings. His ERA climbed to 6.75. He stood at his locker for 10 minutes the next day explaining what he thought the problem was. Unfortunately for him, his image with some Sox fans had already been tarnished because of the astronomical expectations.

From that point on, Price had a 3.39 ERA in 28 starts. He was underrated by most because his overall ERA was still shackled by the start of his season.

On Thursday, the lefty was hard on himself because his ERA is still high, at 4.61. Still, he's night and day compared to where he stood through start No. 7 in 2016.

“Not really,” Price said Thursday when asked if he felt good about his overall return. “I mean I've got a four, four and a half. Four or over that? That's no good.”

Nonetheless, seven innings and three runs is a lot better than what came through seven starts a year ago. And it only improved from there.

On Thursday, Price was using his changeup to great effect most of the time, striking out Miguel Sano with two on and no out in the fourth inning on the pitch. He later gave up two runs in the frame, but the inning could have been a lot worse.

Whether last year’s chronology should realistically be expected to repeat itself is debatable. A statistical study wouldn't back up that idea. But, if you do want to put stock into the progression of a season and the chance it repeats itself, Price and Ramirez might have found starting points inside the same game.

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor leaguer Oscar Hernandez suspended for second positive drug test

Red Sox minor league catcher Oscar Hernandez has been handed a 50-game suspension for a second positive test for a drug of abuse, our own Evan Drellich reports.

Hernandez signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox in January and currently is on the Triple-A Pawtucket roster. The 24-year-old will be able to return in late May.





Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

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Wright suspended 15 games for violation of domestic-violence policy

Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy, NBC Sports Boston has learned. The league is set to make the announcement Friday.

Wright, working his way back from right knee surgery, has to serve the suspension when healthy. Potential time on the disabled list to begin the season would not count. Wright is not expected to appeal.

Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.

The case in December was retired by the Williamson County courthouse. If Wright commits no other offenses for a 12-month span, the charges are expected to be dropped.

Fifteen games matches the lowest suspension MLB has given out in relation to a domestic violence case since the league and players union agreed to a policy in 2015. Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia was suspended 15 games in March 2017.

"It's a situation that, it sucks not only for me, but for my family, for the team," Wright told reporters in Florida on Thursday. "But I try not to think about it. When MLB comes out with their discipline, or if there's going to be discipline or not, it's just going to go from there."

Wright said this spring that he did not harm his wife.

“We’ve been going to counseling. We’ve been working through it,” Wright said. “We’ve been trying to do as much as we can to put it past us, but it’s hard. Because MLB is doing their investigation and it’s in the limelight. It’s really hard on a personal level to get past something that’s constantly being thrown at you. But I did it to myself. It’s one of those things that I’ve got to live with the consequences that came from my actions that night.”